Hunting elk in the remaining days of August

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here are still a few days left in the first part of the antlerless elk shoulder season that runs Aug. 15 to Sept. 2.

And while the temperature has cooled off a bit, it hasn’t exactly plummeted to below zero. That means continuing to think about how to deal with a downed big animal in late summer heat.

Here are a few tips to remember:

• The animal’s bones retain heat and cause meat to sour. You can expose large bones to air, or better yet, remove the bones.

• Split down the spine from the inside, through the spine and backbone to the hide. The carcass should be opened up all the way from the pelvis to the neck.

• Open up the round area of the back leg by cutting through the round into the bone.

• Bring lots of ice in an extra cooler. Ice stored in a closed cooler will last for days. Blocks last longer than bags. Drain water daily from the cooler to maintain the ice.

• Skinning a carcass cools it fastest, but if you’re making a short trip from the field to home or field to camp, you can fill the body cavity of an unskinned elk with ice bags. However, stuffing a carcass with ice is only a temporary measure.

• If it’s too warm to hang an elk, skin and quarter it and put the meat on ice. A large cooler will hold most or all of a cut-up elk. Remember to leave evidence of the animal’s sex. See page 15 of the 2016 deer, elk and antelope regulations.

• Know the location of the nearest meat processing facility and the hours of operation. Before hunting know where and when you can take your game to cool it quickly.

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